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A living method visual learning spiral in red, yellow and white, by Professor Juanita Sherwood.
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Training and resources

Informed by Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing
To support cultural competence education, the centre is enriching and reinvigorating the teaching and learning experience at the University of Sydney and beyond.

Our training – what we offer

The lifelong journey of cultural competence starts with getting to know yourself and your own worldview. All of our workshops and resources informed by our overarching commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, being and doing. Our face-to-face workshops give University of Sydney staff and students a solid grounding in cultural competence. 

Our online resources complement the workshops and reinforce the need to look at cultural competence from a critically self-reflective, skillbuilding, organisational and systems viewpoint. They feature videos and reflective exercises that help to embed core learnings and concepts.

Indigenous philosophy takes a holistic approach. It has been passed down through Law and the Dreaming for generations, supported and taught by Elders.

Professor Juanita Sherwood's illustration above reminds us that to be collaborative cultural learners we need to reflect on the many influences that shape our journeys. Circles are used within Indigenous cultures to illustrate the holistic nature of ways of knowing and being. The spiral indicates that the system is not closed or static, highlighting the ongoing processes of learning and co-generating knowledge.

This philosophy is informed through:

  • Indigenous knowledge and its application
  • being as informed through Law, Dreaming and relationships and
  • cultural protocols and ethics informed through law and the Dreaming.

These have been developed directly through living, observation, experimentation and working with the natural world and its ecosystems to sustain and maintain balance.

The University's commitment to cultural competence in teaching and learning offers students a unique competitive advantage. Graduates with advanced understandings and capabilities in this area will be able to better contribute and operate in different cultural settings in Australia and internationally.

MOOC: Cultural Competence – Aboriginal Sydney

We created this Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in collaboration with the Educational Innovation team at the University. It includes interviews with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academics, activists, artists, language experts, Elders and key members from community organisations about their knowledge and experiences of Sydney. During the interviews we explored the Aboriginal history, sites, languages, cultures and people of the Sydney area.

At the heart of this MOOC is the theme that Sydney always was and always will be Aboriginal Land. The MOOC will deepen your knowledge, experiences and understanding of Aboriginal Sydney and develop cultural competence capabilities that will help you relate the key concepts to your own contexts.